Helping you with the cost of living

Helping you with the cost of living Main Image

The cost of living is hitting many locals in our community hard.

I want you to know that you’re not alone.

Below you will find a list of key discounts and resources that will help keep more money in your pocket. 

For news and updates on support services in our community, you can also follow me on social media:


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Discounts all in one place 


An easy way to find all savings in one place

Service Victoria’s Savings Finder will help you search for more than 80 discounts, rebates, and savings – all in the one place.

It brings all the different government services together to help Victorians find cost of living relief.


Reducing your energy bills


The Victorian Default Offer guarantees the lowest price available on electricity.

The State Labor Government also offers discounted gas and electricity bills for concession card holders.

Click here for more information.

Assistance with water bills

Eligible pensioners and health care card holders can also get up to 50% of their annual water and sewerage bill.

Click here for more information.

Helping you save on solar

Rebates and interest free loans are available for installing solar panels and batteries.

Click here for more information about installing solar panels.

Click here for more information about the solar battery rebate.  


Discounts for veterans


Veterans can apply for the Victorian Veterans Card, which includes:

  • $100 off vehicle (or motorbike) rego
  • free caravan and trailer rego
  • free marine licence
  • fishing licence exemption
  • free transport on ANZAC and Remembrance Days
  • veteran employment support


Families and Education


School Saving Bonus

The $400 School Saving Bonus supports every child at government schools across Ripon and eligible concession card holders at non-government schools.

The one-off payment will be provided during Term 4 2024, making sure families have the time to plan and budget for the 2025 school year.

Free kinder

Free kinder from 3 and 4-year-olds is available, saving families up to $2,500 per child, each year.

Find out more about free kinder here.

Discounted school uniforms, shoes, and books

There are supports available for families who need help with school costs, including:

  • State Schools’ Relief
  • Camps, Sports, and Excursion Fund
  • Using the Crisis Referral Information System to find support near you

$200 off the cost of kids’ sports

Eligible children can receive up to $200 to cover the costs for sport membership and registration fees through the Get Active Kids Voucher Program.

Priority Primary Care Centres

The Ballarat and Bendigo Priority Primary Care Centres provide free care for people with conditions that require urgent attention but not an emergency response.

Ballarat Priority Primary Care Centre

Call – 03 4320 0820

Email –

Location – 4 Windermere Street, Ballarat Central VIC 3350

Bendigo Priority Primary Care Centre

Call – 03 5445 5690

Location – 121 Arnold Street, Bendigo VIC 3550

Community Pharmacist Pilot

The 12-month trial until October 2024 allows locals to receive some treatments at a local pharmacy without needing to see a doctor to get a prescription.

This includes a resupply of the contraceptive pill, treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections, and treatment for shingles.

Participating pharmacies across Ripon include in Inglewood, Ararat, Beaufort, Maryborough, Clunes, Creswick, and Lucas.

Find out more information here.

Free dental for kids

The State Labor Government delivers a free school dental program through the Smile Squad.

Annual dental check-ups are carried out in school classrooms using portable equipment and further treatment is delivered in treatment vans that travel to schools, saving families money on dental bills.

Free glasses for kids

The Government also provides free vision screening and glasses to participating Prep to Year 3 students.

The Glasses for Kids Program targets schools across Victoria based on areas of disadvantage.

Free school breakfasts

Free, healthy, and nutritious breakfasts are available for students in government schools.

The State Labor Government is expanding the School Breakfast Clubs program into every government school from June 2025.

Free pads and tampons in schools

Free pads and tampons are available in every government school across Victoria – making sure everyone has access to sanitary products.

Find out more here.

Free secondary school teaching degrees

The State Labor Government is supporting future teachers with a Secondary Teaching Scholarship that pays you while you learn and supports with the cost of studying and living.

Scholarships are available to students who enrol and start study in 2024 and 2025.

Click here for more information.


Free TAFE offers more than 80 free TAFE qualifications and short courses without the cost of tuition fees – including for early childhood education, health, construction, agriculture, hospitality, and disability services.

Find out more about free TAFE courses here.

Free visits to zoos and museums for kids

Kids under 16 can receive free admission to Healesville Sanctuary, Kyabram Fauna Park, Melbourne Zoo, and Werribee Open Range Zoo on weekends, public holidays and school holidays.

Kids under 5 can visit free to the National Gallery of Victoria.

And kids under 16 can visit the Melbourne Museum for free too.




Free L and P plates

Aspiring L-platers can save up to $51.40 in licence and online testing fees.

While learner drivers going for their P-plates will save up to $133.30 in licence and online hazard perception testing fee.

Click here for more information.

Free rego for Victorian apprentices 

If you’re a trade apprentice using your car for work, you may be eligible to get 100% off your registration renewal.

This will save apprentices up to $865 every year, including carpenters, joiners, bricklayers, plumbers, and electricians.

Click here for more information.

Paying your car rego in smaller instalments

You can choose a 3- or 6-month vehicle registration renewal.

Click here for more information.

Cheaper V/Line fares

No matter where you live in Victoria, it now costs the same amount to travel. The most you’ll pay is the same as a $10.60 metro daily capped fare.

For shorter regional trips or concession card holders, it will be even less.

Travel on weekends and public holidays is even cheaper, with daily fares of $7.20 or $3.60 concession.

Click here for more information.




Helping more people get into their first home

The Victorian Homebuyer Fund supports people to buy their first home.

If you have a 5% deposit, the State Labor Government will chip in up to 25% of the purchase price for a share in the property - which you buy back over time, interest-free.

Click here for more information.

Capped council rates

Council Rates have been capped at 2.75 per cent for 2024-25. More information can be found here.

More security for renters

Rent increases have been limited to no more than once every 12 months.

Renters who suspect properties available for rent do not meet minimum standards can now also alert Consumer Affairs Victoria directly through a new complaint form online.

We are also introducing minimum standards for rentals, including for ceiling insulation, draughtproofing, hot water efficiency and cooling to bring down energy prices for renters.

For more information, click here.


This information has been collated by the office of Martha Haylett MP.

Contact the office on (03) 5461 1255 or via email at if you have any questions.